We brought the West Yorkshire gang to Wakefield!

And here's what we did...

We had a cracking day playing host to our West Yorkshire friends Kirklees Council, Visit Bradford, Visit Calderdale and Visit Leeds on Friday 16 February. We showed them all the amazing things Wakefield city centre has to offer and we wanted to share the day with you, too!

We’ve already had some fantastic days out in Bradford, Halifax and Leeds, and now it was our turn to host – what better time than during the annual Rhubarb Festival in February! Here’s what we got up to.

We met up outside Wakefield Westgate train station and introduced our visitors to the first sculpture on the Wakefield Sculpture Trail, Halima Cassell’s The Gathering. The Wakefield Sculpture Trail is a series of sculptures for the city, commissioned in 2023. The series offers a unique opportunity for everyone to experience and enjoy world-class art, and each artist has created a work especially for the place, its history and communities.

Next, we walked up Westgate towards Theatre Royal Wakefield. The theatre was designed by Frank Matcham in 1894, who also designed the Tower Ballroom at Blackpool and the London Palladium! Once inside, we got a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the fascinating Frank Matcham auditorium, the Victorian bar, went behind the stage to see where the magic happens and found out all about the Theatre’s community projects.

After treading the boards, we walked up Westgate and learnt more about the history of this iconic street, including its role in the Heritage Action Zone.

After that, we were in need of caffeination, so we stopped at artisan coffee roasters Recent Beans, who roast 100% speciality-grade, ethically sourced, arabica coffee beans. For the festival, they had managed to import – at great difficulty! – a special artisan batch of beans from a tiny producer in Nicaragua, with notes of rhubarb, only to be sold during the festival. Chris from Visit Calderdale didn’t miss out on the opportunity to get himself a bag, and we all had a great time taste-testing the coffee. As part of the rhubarb trail, they were also producing a speciality rhubarb-and-custard latte, which Visit Calderdale sampled.

Once we were fully rejuvenated, we headed over to Wakefield Cathedral and enjoyed a fascinating tour around the building that is home to Yorkshire’s tallest spire (and a pair of nesting peregrines!). Our tour guide, Richard, regaled us with some enthralling stories about the way in which the cathedral has been built, altered and added to over the centuries. He also pointed out the beautiful rood screen, bright blue quire ceiling and stained glass by famous glass-maker C.E. Kempe.

On the day of the visit, the city was celebrating its most famous vegetable and marking the start of Wakefield’s Rhubarb Festival, so it was the perfect opportunity to let our guests roam the market stalls, enjoy the street entertainment and listen to some live music. They even picked up some rhubarb of their own from Oldroyd’s “Rhubarb Hut”.

After touring the festival, we had all worked up quite an appetite and we were ready for lunch, so we headed over to Qubana on Wood Street – a Cuban-Spanish fusion restaurant complete with candles, chandeliers and the odd homage to Che Guevara!
As part of the Rhubarb Trail, Qubana had a whole menu full of rhubarb specialities to tempt our taste buds, as well as delectable tapas and delicious sandwiches.  ¡Buen provecho!


After lunch, we hopped on Wakefield’s Free City Bus and made our way over the river to The Hepworth Wakefield. The Hepworth Wakefield is an award-winning gallery designed by David Chipperfield, and named after one of Wakefield’s most famous daughters.

The Hepworth had put on a whole afternoon of delights for us. After a brief welcome and introduction to the gallery, we were let loose on the Art Pod activity in the gallery spaces – we wanted to make sure everyone had the opportunity to get creative during their time with us! – we then had a highlights tour with a member of the Hepworth’s wonderful Visitor Experience Team, before enjoying coffee in the Hepworth’s Cafe.
After that, we headed outside to the gorgeous Hepworth Garden for an introduction and tour courtesy of Katy Merrington, the Hepworth’s Cultural Gardener.

Following this, we met with the team behind Tileyard North, based opposite The Hepworth Wakefield in the former Rutland Mills. Tileyard is a globally recognised creative community and has expanded to an extraordinary new space in Wakefield. A hub to create, stay and play – featuring recording studios, content spaces, creative workspaces, event venues, delicious food and beverage offerings and vibrant spaces for the community to enjoy.

We then headed inside Tileyard North and took in Andy Singleton’s INTERNAL, a stunning large-scale paper-cut exhibition exploring the internal complexity of the human body and how it connects to the outer human experience and the natural world.

We rounded off our day at Peddler Market, home of award-winning street food, craft drinks, live music, entertainment and artisan products, at their Wakefield base in Tileyard North.

And there you have it – our wonderful day out in Wakefield with our West Yorkshire friends!

Check out our guides, attractions and what’s on sections, and start planning your own wonderful Wakefield day! We’ll see you soon.

More West Yorkshire Inspiration!

Enjoy West Yorkshire: 48-hour highlight Itinerary

This two-day itinerary will help you take full advantage of your time exploring West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire’s Cultural Treasures

West Yorkshire is home to some of the UK’s most beloved cultural treasures. Whether you want to spark your creati...

Bradford Architecture

Go Outdoors in West Yorkshire

What better way to celebrate God’s own Country, than heading outdoors and taking in some of the beautiful landscapes that Yorkshire is famous for.

20 Things You Didn’t Know About West Yorkshire

Think you know all there is to know about West Yorkshire? See if you knew all these tantalising titbits.